Expo: Last year's hot technology this year's business tool

It wasn't only the latest advances in information technology which garnered the crowd's interest at Computerworld Expo this week.

Some products - like those based on voice recognition technology - which in the past have been considered too technical and of little merit for the corporate sector, appear to have finally come of age. Voice recognition applications which attracted a lot of interest included Dragon Dictate, and IBM's Voice Type Dictation, a version of which will be included in Merlin, Big Blue's forthcoming update of OS/2, promised in the second half of the year.

But inevitably, the Internet, which was flavour of the show last year, was again on everyone's mind. Phil Dagger, marketing manager for Voyager ISP, says there's an impressive level of knowledge of the Net in the business community.

Predictably, Microsoft took centre stage at the Expo, using the show to officially launch its major client/server mail application, Exchange Server.

IBM made its role at the upcoming Atlanta Olympics a feature of its stand. Big Blue also featured its Warp Server and IBM Server Software applications, as well as Microsoft Exchange's major competitor (though no one will officially admit it), Lotus Notes 4.

Sun Microsystem drew in a steady stream of patrons interested in Java, its Internet application development language.

PC market leader Compaq took a unique approach to the Expo and divided its floor space into two distinct areas. An open space featuring its latest desktop computers attracted casual visitors to its stand, while serious technology shoppers could enter its No Compromise Lounge for a view of new notebooks and machines aimed at the server market.

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